Tweet sparks rumor of ‘suspicious’ Kaine package
Sen. Kaine informed prior to Dinwiddie stop; false alarm confirmed
A Twitter posting appears to have been the trigger of some brief concern Friday that Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine may have been targeted as one of several prominent Democratic leaders to receive a pipe-bomb from a south Florida man now in federal custody.
The tweet, dated at 10:48 a.m. Oct. 26, included a photo of a UPS store in an unidentified location cordoned off with police tape, with an emergency vehicle in the foreground. The message above the photo read, “Suspicious package for Tim Kaine, Senator in VA now held at UPS store…”
Kaine, who is opposed in his re-election bid by Republican Corey A. Stewart, was walking into a campaign stop in Dinwiddie County Friday afternoon when he received word of the tweet. He mentioned it briefly at the start of his remarks and in a later interview with The ProgressIndex, adding that his staff was still trying to confirm exactly what transpired.
Earlier Friday, federal authorities announced they had arrested Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., in connection with the weeklong bomb scare that saw prominent Democrats and other critics of President Donald Trump, targeted with suspicious packages sent to their homes or offices. On that list were former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and several Democratic senators and
members of Congress.
Kaine was Hillary Clinton’s running mate on the 2016 Democratic ticket.
A Kaine spokesman confirmed Saturday that the package addressed to the senator was from a friend. But given the high level of concern, authorities acted on the side of caution.
On Friday, Kaine called the initial reports “unsettling” and said he had warned his family and staff about accepting packages in the wake of the spree.
A review by The Progress-Index of the Twitter user's account showed only one
retweet, and no additional comments or updates about the package. There are several retweets by the account holder of conservativeleaning posts.
The user describes himself on Twitter as a lead designer for a graphic-novel series and a “hater of political correctness.”
Kaine’s spokesman said the senator would
not comment on the Twitter account or its holder.
Federal authorities have identified 14 packages linked to the suspect, adding more may still be out there.